WWE Women's Championship
WWE (formerly the WWF, WWWF, and its predecessor, Capitol Wrestling) has maintained at least one primary women's championship since 1956 (except for a three-year interim between 1990 and 1993 and another between 1995 and 1998). Whenever brand division has been implemented, separate women's titles have been created or allocated for each brand.
Overview of titles
|1||WWE Women's Championship (1956–2010)||1956 – 2010 (became WWF property in 1984)|
|2||WWE Divas Championship||2008 – 2016|
|3||NXT Women's Championship||2013 – present|
|4||WWE Raw Women's Championship||2016 – present|
|5||WWE SmackDown Women's Championship||2016 – present|
On September 18, 1956, The Fabulous Moolah became the third NWA World Women's Champion. Moolah had worked for the northeastern United States-based Capitol Wrestling Corporation, a member of the National Wrestling Alliance (NWA), since the previous year. In 1963, Capitol Wrestling seceded from the NWA and established itself as the World Wide Wrestling Federation (WWWF); it quietly rejoined the NWA in 1971. Moolah bought the rights to the championship in the 1970s, and continued to defend the championship as the NWA World Women's Champion. The WWWF, renamed to the World Wrestling Federation (WWF) in 1979, withdrew from the NWA for good in 1983, and Moolah sold the championship's rights to the WWF in 1984, and she was recognized as the WWF Women's Champion. Instead of beginning her reign in 1984, the WWF claimed the lineage of her reign from when she first became champion in 1956. The preceding champions and the title changes between 1956 and when Moolah lost it in 1984 are not recognized by WWE (although they are recognized by the NWA). As a result, The Fabulous Moolah's first reign is considered to have lasted 28 years by the promotion.
In 1990, the Women's Championship became inactive after Rockin' Robin vacated the championship following her departure from the WWF. Then in December 1993, the title was reactivated with Alundra Blayze winning a tournament for the vacant Women's Championship. However, the Women's Championship became inactive again when Blayze was released from the WWF. Blayze, as Madusa, unexpectedly signed with World Championship Wrestling in 1995 and threw the championship belt, which was still in her possession, in a trash can on an episode of WCW Monday Nitro. The Women's Championship was reactivated again in September 1998 when Jacqueline Moore defeated Sable to win the title.
After the WWF/WWE name change in 2002, the championship was subsequently referred to as the WWE Women's Championship. With the WWE brand extension in March 2002, the Women's Championship at first was still defended on both the Raw and SmackDown brands, while most titles were exclusive to one brand. In September, the Women's Championship became exclusive to only the Raw brand, but remained the sole championship contested by women until July 4, 2008, when a counterpart to the championship, called the WWE Divas Championship, was created for the SmackDown brand. The titles switched brands in after their respective title holders were drafted to the opposite brands in the 2009 WWE draft.
The Women's Championship was unified with the Divas Championship at Night of Champions in September 2010, creating the Unified WWE Divas Championship and rendering the Women's Championship defunct as the unified title followed the lineage of the Divas Championship; the title eventually dropped the "Unified" moniker. The Divas Championship continued as the only women's championship of the main roster until 2016 when it was retired and replaced by a new WWE Women's Championship at WrestleMania 32. This came after the term "Diva" was scrutinized by some commentators, fans, and several past and present WWE female performers who were in favor of changing the championship to the Women's Championship. The division itself was also changed from being called the Divas division to being called the Women's division. The new championship does not share its title history with the previous championships.
Following the reintroduction of the brand extension in July 2016, then-champion Charlotte Flair was drafted to the Raw brand, making the championship exclusive to Raw. In response, SmackDown created the SmackDown Women's Championship on August 23, 2016. The WWE Women's Championship was subsequently renamed to Raw Women's Championship to reflect its exclusivity to Raw. In addition, WWE's developmental brand NXT established its own Women's Championship in April 2013. The Raw, SmackDown, and NXT women's titles are WWE's three currently active women's championships.
Active primary championships
- WWE Raw Women's Championship, originally called the WWE Women's Championship, the current women's championship of the Raw brand
- WWE SmackDown Women's Championship, the current women's championship of the SmackDown brand
- NXT Women's Championship, the current women's championship for WWE's developmental brand, NXT
Retired primary championships
- WWE Women's Championship (1956–2010), the predecessor to the other WWE women's championships; originally the WWF Women's Championship (1984), although the WWE claims the lineage to begin in 1956 with the Fabulous Moolah's NWA World Women's Championship reign
- WWE Divas Championship, a women's championship contested from 2008–2016
Other women's championships
- WWF Women's Tag Team Championship, a women's tag team championship contested from 1983–1989
- NWA World Women's Championship, WWE recognizes The Fabulous Moolah's reign from 1956–1984 as being uninterrupted and part of the original WWE Women's Championship history
Longest championship reigns with a primary title
The Fabulous Moolah, Asuka, and Nikki Bella all retain the specific records for each of their respective titles held. At present, Alexa Bliss holds the specific record for the Raw Women's Championship at 223 days for her second reign, and Charlotte Flair holds the specific record for the SmackDown Women's Championship at 147 days for her first reign.
|1||The Fabulous Moolah||WWE Women's Championship (1956–2010)||1st reign||3,651||WWE recognizes Moolah's reign as lasting 10,170 days as they do not recognize the title changes of the NWA World Women's Championship from 1956 to 1984.|
|2||Asuka||NXT Women's Championship||1st reign||510||WWE recognizes Asuka's reign as lasting 523 days due to tape delay.|
|3||Rockin' Robin||WWE Women's Championship (1956–2010)||1st reign||502|
|4||Trish Stratus||WWE Women's Championship (1956–2010)||6th reign||448|
|5||Sensational Sherri||WWE Women's Championship (1956–2010)||1st reign||441|
|6||The Fabulous Moolah||WWE Women's Championship (1956–2010)||3rd reign||380||In reality, this was Moolah's 7th reign, but because WWE does not recognize the title changes of the NWA World Women's Championship between 1956 and 1984, they recognize this as Moolah's 3rd reign.|
|7||Alundra Blayze||WWE Women's Championship (1956–2010)||1st reign||342|
|8||Paige||NXT Women's Championship||1st reign||308||WWE recognizes Paige's reign as lasting 274 days due to tape delay.|
|9||Nikki Bella||WWE Divas Championship||2nd reign||301|
|10||AJ Lee||WWE Divas Championship||1st reign||295||WWE recognizes AJ Lee's reign as lasting 296 days.|
- Chris Schramm (October 5, 1998). "Moolah: Twenty-eight years was the reign". SLAM! Wrestling. Retrieved 2007-10-26.
- Steve Slagle. "The Professional Wrestling Hall of Fame: Fabulous Moolah". The Ring Chronicle. Archived from the original on 2011-05-26. Retrieved 2007-10-26.
- "NWA World Women's Championship". Extreme Canadian Championship Wrestling. Archived from the original on January 18, 2010. Retrieved 2009-03-26.
- "WWE: Inside WWE > Title History > Women's > 19560918 - Fabulous Moolah". WWE.com. Retrieved 2007-10-06.
- "Women's Championship reign". World Wrestling Entertainment. Retrieved 2007-11-24.
- Ellison, Lillian (2003). The Fabulous Moolah: First Goddess of the Squared Circle. ReaganBooks. p. 197. ISBN 978-0-06-001258-8.
- "Alundra Blayze's first reign". World Wrestling Entertainment. Retrieved 2009-03-22.
- Scott Fishman (October 20, 2007). "Rena enjoys home life". Miami Herald.
- "History of the Unified Divas Championship". World Wrestling Entertainment. 2010-09-21. Retrieved 2010-09-21.
- Konuwa, Alfred (March 30, 2016). "Is WWE Planning To Rebrand Its Divas Division?". Forbes. Retrieved April 4, 2016.
- Ahmed, Tufayel. "WrestleMania 32: By Dumping the 'Divas' Branding, WWE Makes Its Biggest Step to Gender Equality". Newsweek. Retrieved 2016-04-05.
- Gass, Dorathy (2014-06-20). "Wrestlemania 32: How The Women Stole The Show". Wrestle Newz. Retrieved 2016-04-05.